Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Forum provides preview of race
Portland (ME) Press Herald
...Democrats, Republicans and Green Independents will choose their gubernatorial nominees in the June 13 primary. The three party nominees will go on to the general election Nov. 7. They will be joined at that time by independent candidates.
It remains to be seen how many of the announced independents will qualify for the November ballot.
Party candidates had to submit 2,000 signatures from party members by March 15 to get on the ballot. Baldacci, Miller, Emery, Mills, Woodcock and LaMarche all met that deadline.
Independent candidates have until June 1 to submit the signatures of any 4,000 registered voters to get their names on the Nov. 7 ballot. None of the eight declared independents has done so yet, according to state officials.....

Edward Achorn: Flooding the Senate primary
Providence JournalApr. 25, 2006
....The GOP primary must be flooded with so many independents and Democratic party-switchers that they would overwhelm the Republican edge for Mr. Laffey. This is the crux of the whole fight, and it has begun, with pleas to Democrats to disaffiliate by the June 14 deadline, so that they may vote for Mr. Chafee. The incumbent is aided by strong support from the public-employee unions, which not only like Mr. Chafee but detest Mr. Laffey, for doing such things as ending the sweet deal that unionized crossing guards enjoyed at taxpayer expense.
That's where Mr. Brown comes in. It will be easier to move Democrats into the Republican primary if there is no serious Democratic-primary fight to hold them. If the end is as near for Mr. Brown as it seems to be, Democrats will be more inclined to disaffiliate. ...Still, getting independents and Democrats into a Republican primary in large numbers is a complicated and daunting task -- made much more difficult when Democrats have a strong partisan incentive to stay out, since hopes for a Democratic Senate would surely be enhanced by Mr. Chafee's defeat. Persuading them to act against their party's interest may be tough. Some Democrats might even disaffiliate and vote for Mr. Laffey, in hopes of making it easier for Mr. Whitehouse to win and secure a Democratic Senate!...

Poll: Majority backs Kaine
But his initial rating trails that of Warner, two GOP governors
The first nonpartisan report card on Gov. Timothy M. Kaine shows a majority of Virginians surveyed have a favorable view of the freshman Democrat.
Fifty-six percent rate Kaine's performance excellent or good, according to Virginia Commonwealth University's Commonwealth Poll. Forty-four percent say he is doing a fair or poor job.
In office a little more than 100 days, Kaine has solid support from fellow Democrats. Seventy-three percent give him top marks, as do 41 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of independents....

Expect racial lines to define state politics
Atlanta Journal Constitution04/25/06
After this week's qualifying and November's elections, Georgia will be well on its way to having two political parties that divide along racial lines. Not good for either — or for Georgia. Credit the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the drift of the national Democratic Party.
The Voting Rights Act, which most black and Republican politicians love, concentrates black Democrats in safe districts devoid of any pressure toward moderation. Most every black Democrat can be Cynthia McKinney and get re-elected; it's a tribute to their character and civic responsibility that they aren't like that.
Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland was the demarcating Democrat, the high-profile figure whose politics merged the state and national parties. Most successful Georgia Democrats in Washington —U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop of Albany and Jim Marshall of Macon — track local in the Sam Nunn tradition: Bishop on agriculture and defense and Marshall on Iraq. Howard Dean Democrats cannot win Georgia.
For the state party, this is the year of transition. Five years ago, the Georgia House had 105 Democrats, 74 Republicans and one independent. Today it's 103 Republicans, 76 Democrats and one independent.
After the July primary, blacks are certain to have the majority in the Democratic caucus. The question then becomes: What image, what voice?....

GA 4: McKinney Draws Primary Opponent
By Rachel Kapochunas
CQ PoliticsApr. 24, 2006
...McKinney has the advantage of incumbency as well as established financial support. Johnson is starting from behind in name recognition since commissioners “don’t usually generate a whole lot of media coverage,” said political scientist Charles Bullock of the University of Georgia.
McKinney has a loyal following, and a 2003 redistricting removed some of her biggest critics. “In 2002 she got 85 percent of the black vote,” said Bullock. “She lost because she was rejected by whites — 90 percent voted against her, but the new district gets rid of some [of those] votes.”
McKinney has represented the district for 12 years, though not consecutively. Her implication that the Bush administration had prior knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks contributed to her 2002 loss to Democrat Denise L. Majette. Two years later, Majette ran for Senate and McKinney reclaimed her seat with 64 percent of the vote.....

Court defeats audit
By Brad Bumsted
Pittsburg Live
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania's fiscal watchdog, the state auditor general, has no authority to audit the Legislature's $135 million slush fund or its other expenses, Commonwealth Court ruled Monday.
Short of a reversal on appeal, the ruling means that more than $400 million in annual legislative spending won't be audited independently, said citizens' activist Gene Stilp, of Dauphin County, who filed a lawsuit last year claiming the Legislature's internal audit is a "sham."
The court dismissed Stilp's lawsuit in a 5-1 ruling.
Stilp, now an independent candidate for lieutenant governor, filed his lawsuit based on stories the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published last year that reported legislators tapped the so-called "surplus" money to collect unvouchered expenses authorized by a July pay raise. They repealed the 16 to 54 percent raises in November after outraged constituents complained. ....

Greens Nominate 4
by Allan Appel
New Haven Independent
April 24, 2006
Senate hopeful Ralph Ferrucci admitted his campaign war chest -- or "peace chest" -- is more like a shoe box. Gubernatorial candidate Clifford Thornton (at right in photo) promised to tackle a "dinosaur" otherwise known as the drug war. Then the Green Party, gathered in New Haven, nominated its first-ever slate of candidates for statewide office in Connecticut. ...First there were questions of the audience-delegates, which were often related to the practicalities of non-professional politicians running for office in a state where, according to DeRosa, the laws and the whole system are designed to keep the third voice silent: “Next week I’m convening a group with the ACLU,” he said, “and we are going to sue in federal court to give us and all third parties access to public monies for the campaign. It’s a draconian violation of the protections of the 14th Amendment that we cannot.”... more

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